For the third consecutive year, Capital Metro has earned the Texas Comptroller’s Gold Leadership Circle designation for the transit authority’s commitment to financial transparency online.
The program recognizes local governments that strive to meet a high standard of financial transparency by opening their books to the public and providing information in a clear, consistent and user-friendly format. Capital Metro was the first Texas transit agency to earn the Gold transparency rating from the Texas Comptroller.
“Capital Metro has worked hard over the past few years to get its financial house in order and gain the public’s trust,” said Capital Metro President/CEO Linda S. Watson. “I am pleased to have led Capital Metro on this path to greater accountability, fiscal responsibility and transparency.”
Added Texas Senator Kirk Watson, "Capital Metro has done a ton of hard work over the past three years to transform the agency into a model of best practices. Their financial transparency efforts demonstrate their commitment to being accountable to the public on current and future investments in our comprehensive transportation system."
Watson was joined by Mike Martinez, Austin city council member and Capital Metro chairman, and Sandy Guzman, legislative director for Senator Watson, at a press conference today to announce the award.
Capital Metro’s strong financial position and stability enables it to invest strategically in the region’s mobility. The transit agency is implementing a five-year capital improvement plan, which will help build a strong infrastructure throughout the entire five-county region. These improvements include MetroRapid, a new high-capacity transit mode coming to Austin’s busiest streets in 2014, the addition of more efficient and comfortable buses to the fleet, and implementation of Positive Train Control on its commuter rail line.
Taxpayers may easily review Capital Metro’s financial plans and transaction at capmetro.org/transparency.
The following information is readily available for viewing:
· Accounts payable check register (first Texas transit system to provide online).
· Purchase card transaction register (first Texas transit system to provide online).
· Annual budget for the current and previous four years.
· Monthly payroll expenditures (new for 2012).
· Monthly financial status reports that include income statements, budget variances by department, capital expenditures and projected cash flows.
· Contract catalog record showing the status of all contracts including dates, vendors, expenditures and percentages of completion.
· Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFR) from the past five years.
· Federal Triennial Reviews since 2003.
· State Quadrennial Reviews since 2004.
· Internal Audit summary reports from the past five years.
Noted Capital Metro’s Watson, “We’ve made transparency and financial stability a cornerstone of the way we do business so we will have the resources necessary to invest in our future, a future that will give all Central Texans more transportation choices.”